Armstrong, fresh from his victory in the Tour De France, is seen here with Mr. Bush riding across the symbolic gravesite of Casey Sheehan, deceased Army specialist, son of the bereaved Mrs. Sheehan.
Armstrong set an upbeat tone when he said, "You know, I overcame cancer to become a hot-shot biker. It takes hard work and a belief in yourself that says, "Never give up, never say 'die.'"
A Presidential spokesman said that given the Commander-in-Chief's limited work schedule and attention span, he would not have time to see Mrs. Sheehan. However, a place in the schedule had to be made for Mr. Armstrong because the celebrity peddler, like the President, has several major corporate sponsors with urgent needs.
Armstrong said he thought it inappropriate to politicize the office of the president, noting that his own appearance at the ranch was arranged by the Discovery Channel, "for craven commercial purposes only."
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Subscribe to his commentaries at www.GregPalast.com.